Monday, January 12, 2015

Teach Music Online with The Worldwide Music School


The growing number of music teachers who are gaining knowledge and skills in the use of technology during music lessons is generating a huge increase in the number of teachers who are interested in teaching music lessons online. I am one of the teachers who teaches weekly online lessons via Skype, and I absolutely love working with my students via this platform. I enjoy teaching online students so much that I want to grow my online studio, and this is where MusicMonde: The Worldwide Music School enters the picture. 


MusicMonde: The Worldwide Music School is a new company that was started in 2014 by John Foreman and brought to us via website and app by Easy Ear Training (read more here and here). The primary goal of MusicMonde is to facilitate the connection of potential online music students with online music teachers via MusicMonde's app and website. The website contains a library of articles about online music lessons in organ, guitar, piano, and singing, as well as a directory of teachers who teach a variety of music lessons online. 

To put it simply, teachers who teach online lessons sign up to be listed on the website and app so that students who are seeking online music lessons can view the list of available teachers, choose the one that fits them best, and make contact with the potential teacher through the website or app so that an interview can take place and lessons can begin. More and more teachers are signing up to be part of the MusicMonde School, and signing up is a very simple process. 

View my MusicMonde teacher profile here.

If you're already teaching music lessons online, click here to contact MusicMonde about becoming a MusicMonde teacher.  

If you are not an online music teacher, but you know of potential students who are interested in studying music online, you can direct them to the app or website to search for an instructor. 

If you are not currently teaching music lessons online via a platform such as Skype or FaceTime, but you want to learn how to teach music lessons online, see the *** below for more information.

One of my favorite things about MusicMonde is that the goal is to facilitate connection between a student and teacher, but everything else is up to the teacher (scheduling, payments, policies, etc.). I really like the fact that I can include an online student in my studio by having them follow my current policies and tuition structure, just as my in-person students do. Most online lessons websites do not follow this model, so I truly do like that about MusicMonde. This helps during a day of lessons when switching back and forth from in-person to online lessons. The switching back and forth becomes a seamless transition, and I don't have to remember separate policies, payment structures, schedules, etc., because all of my students are following the same procedures. 

Take a look at the MusicMonde website to discover all that it has to offer, and be sure you read the articles in the library and check out the teacher profiles. It's a great time to be an online music teacher! 


*** Do online music lessons seem a bit daunting? Do you know what equipment and technology you need to teach a successful online lesson? Do you know how to set up and use your equipment? What about finding students? Or getting paid? Or setting up your policy? Or knowing which activities can be successful in an online lesson? Are there specific teaching tips you should use for online lessons? How about pros and cons of online teaching? Or troubleshooting when something goes wrong? 

Put your fears behind you and learn to be a successful and confident online teacher with the step-by-step information included in my training webinar, "Getting Started with Online Lessons". Learn what equipment you will need, where to purchase it, how to set it up, the pros and cons of online lessons, how to teach an online lesson, and much more in this 85-minute training video. It is divided into several short sections, so it is easy to watch only what you have time to watch or review a section that especially interests you. Plus, everyone who purchases access to the video is also invited to join an exclusive Facebook group where more discussion takes place, questions are answered, and online lesson video segments are uploaded and shared. The link is included with your purchase. 

Use coupon code PLUCKYPIANISTABLOG to save $10 off the rental price! The rental period expires ONE YEAR from the date of purchase, so you'll have all the time you need to watch the video as many times as you like and become an amazing online music teacher. The very first tuition payment you receive from your first online student will more than cover the price of the webinar, so you'll be making a profit by teaching online in no time! 

Now go grab that bowl of popcorn, get comfy, and enjoy the training session!




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ringing in the New Year!

What a year 2014 has been, and I can't believe it is winding down so quickly. I've been away from blogging and working on my teaching products for awhile, but it's wonderful to be back! To welcome the new year with open arms, I thought I'd share about a few things that I've been working on, and throw a sale in my TpT store! The sale runs 12/31 through 1/1, and I know you'll find some things that will be fun for your students in the new year. Click the links or photos to visit the store.

Best wishes for a beautiful year filled with blessings, love, health, and anticipation of wonderful things to come!



Group Setting: 
Each group needs only one spider spinner page (plastic spinners must be purchased separately). Each person in the group needs his own notation page. A variety of time signatures is included, as well as a page without time signatures. The students take turns spinning the spinner, then notating the rhythm onto their notation sheet. After the rhythms have been notated, the students take turns performing their rhythms for their peers. 

Individual Setting: 
Student needs one spinner page and one notation sheet. The student spins the spinner, notates the rhythm, and the performs it for the teacher. 

Performance Tips: 
Students should be creative when performing! Marching, tapping, snapping, performing in the style of the Cup Game, using Boomwhackers, classroom percussion instruments, the piano, and playing a clapping game are only a few of the countless ways students can move to their newly created rhythm patterns. Have fun! 



In these eight fun worksheets, students match intervals, travel through a puzzle following the given interval, identify intervals, and write intervals. Lots of review featuring a variety of activities!



Set includes full color cards only. 92 intervals notated on the staff (2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, and octaves both ascending and descending) as well as 42 number intervals (the actual words "2nd", "3rd", etc.) are included, plus one blank staff set that students can use for interval notation, for a grand total of 140 cards! 



72 music math flash cards are included, 18 of each of the following combinations:
Addition (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes)
Multiplication (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes)
Addition (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes, and quarter, half, and whole rests)
Multiplication (quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes, and quarter, half, and whole rests)



Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's a Cyber Sale AND a Linky Party!

The last leftovers of Thanksgiving have been devoured, we're all back to our normal routine for a couple more weeks before Christmas break, and what do you know, it's time for a fabulous Cyber Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers! Hope you have those wish lists filled and ready to go! Use code TPTCYBER at checkout for amazing savings. 



Today I'm linking up with Music a la Abbott's Rockin' Resources Linky Party to let you know about three products that I am so excited about! In this linky party, you'll be reading about a product from my own store, as well as a couple of products from the stores of others. Read on, friends!


The first product on my list is one of my favorite products for the winter season, "Let the Music Games Begin!" This was one of my best-selling products last year during the Winter Olympic Games, and it's a fun game to play with your students on a cold and snowy winter day. It's perfect for group use, or in the private music lesson setting!



The game is divided into six “winter sporting events” and includes:

    • Event 1: Improv and charades picture cards {16 cards}
    • Event 2: Improv and charades phrase cards {16 cards}
    • Event 3: Piano key cards to describe and play {16 cards}
    • Event 4: Rhythm cards to perform {16 cards}
    • Event 5: Music term cards to define and/or draw {16 cards}
    • Event 6: Notes to identify and play {16 cards}
    • 16 cards in each event (that’s 96 cards per set!) 
    • One page containing the backs of the cards
    • A winter game board
    • Bonus coloring sheets are included as well!
Here are just a few screen shots to give you an idea of what's inside this fun and wintery download:





These game cards are perfect for both groups and individual students! There are many possibilities for using them, and here are a couple of suggestions. 

Jeopardy-style game: Use the title pages as the headings and use selected cards as the Jeopardy answers. Students should phrase their answer in the form of a question. To keep score, Assign point values to each question, or give the card to the student who answers correctly. 

Using the game board: one die is needed. In this version of the game, students draw a card, then do what the card requires. Students who answer correctly roll the die and move forward on the game board. Students who answer incorrectly do not move their game piece forward. 

Flash cards: use the cards as flash cards with a single student or as friendly competition among multiple students. 


Here's another music product that I'm really excited about, and I know you'll love it too! Pirate Rhythms by Sally Utley is a fun way for students to practice their rhythms in a fun and piratey way! Sally describes the product this way: "This Smart Notebook will guide students through the process of naming pirate characters to determine if the names have one, two or four syllables. Students then practice reading 4-beat patterns using various combinations of characters and jargon. The final section allows students to slide the characters to create their own patterns to read. A worksheet is included to extend the lesson." Now doesn't that sound like a ton of fun? I think so!



And finally, here's something I've had my eye on, and I can't wait to download and start using this Adorable Merry Little Christmas clipart by The Doodle Oven! Imagine the possibilities... and aren't they the cutest little bulbs you've ever seen! Perfect for creating clever and colorful Christmas products, these merry little bulbs will de-"LIGHT" your students!



I hope you all enjoy the Cyber Sale at TpT, where you can save up to 20% on your purchases December 1-2 using code TPTCYBER! 

Happy shopping, dear friends! 



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Guest Post: "Inspired to Remember" by Desirée Scarambone


I'm so pleased to introduce our next guest author, my friend and colleague, Desirée Scarambone, author of the wonderful book "Classical Composers: A Home in Your Head for the Musical Masters". 


Finding inspiration in unexpected places is a thrill that never gets old.  Whether it’s that bright flash of suddenly understanding a problem by looking from a different point of view, or the slow dawning that synthesizing seemingly unrelated ideas sometimes brings, it’s a rush that the hungry mind meets with pleasure.  Unfortunately, those “aha!” moments don’t come every day, but sometimes, on a very lucky day, inspiration strikes twice.  

Because I know that fellow teachers and musicians can appreciate the excitement of inspiration, I wanted to share with you some of my more recent “aha” moments.  

Late this spring, after Federation auditions, theory tests, spring recitals, piano festivals and a general flurry of performances, my students began slowly dispersing to take on their summer adventures, and I greeted June with a sigh of relief. 

“Now”, I thought, “I’ll have time to catch up on my reading.” 

I considered my queue, which had grown to an unmanageable size throughout the spring semester, and felt a bit overwhelmed by my ambitions.  In an attempt to avoid the mountainous pile of books awaiting my attention, I decided to spend an evening cleaning out a cabinet of music, books and various papers.  This is how I stumbled across an old article written by Joshua Foer (Secrets of a Mind Gamer) - published around the time his book Moonwalking with Einstein debuted.  Four years ago a dear student from long ago sent a copy to me, and at that time I casually read through the article then put it aside.  This evening, however, I settled down to read the article with great interest.  

In the midst of piles of papers and books to be organized, I felt that Foer was somehow touching upon the solution to a problem I didn’t know I had, and despite the physical chaos surrounding me, I felt a small flame of inspiration and order begin to light my way.  That evening I borrowed a copy of Moonwalking with Einstein from the library and read through, practically without stopping.  

Moonwalking with Einstein  (found here) is Foer’s documentation of his journey into the world of memory championships.  He discusses how he learned to train his mind to think and remember an immense amount of information in a very short time.  If that’s not fascinating to a teacher, what is?

The potential of a “trained” mind is not foreign to a musician, because although we execute our art physically, music is primarily an exercise of the mind.   But how exactly does how a memory champion trains relate to what a musician (or music student) does?   Are there any mnemonic devices or techniques to be gleaned from their repertoire and added to our own?

As I read, fascinated, I began thinking of various applications - and then I got to chapter 8.  The title of the chapter is The OK Plateau (Foer gives a talk about it here).  It ignited the bright light kind of “aha” moment.  In this chapter he discusses how he began to question how professionals of every walk of life reach a higher level of capability than others.  Is it, as Malcolm Gladwell suggests, 10,000 hours of practice?  (That number is nice, but haven’t we always felt that something is slightly askew with that simple formula?)  No, he concludes that it’s reaching past what he calls the OK Plateau.  Granted, The OK Plateau is, basically, metacognition in action, but would my students respond to the word “Metacognition” or the words “The OK Plateau”?  Would they respond to a lecture about “Think when you play!”  from me, or would they respond to a young, interesting journalist talking about unexpectedly becoming a memory champion because he wouldn’t let himself be just “ok”.  

The video linked above became my secret weapon for combating the OKs and Blahs that I sometimes see my early adolescent students facing.  If they stop hearing me when I say “think about what you’re doing!” maybe they’ll hear Foer.  

In literature and on television (BBC’s Sherlock, for example) memory palaces are alluded to, but they seem mysterious - fictional at the worst, unapproachable for the ordinary mortal mind at best.   Joshua Foer discusses how they are approachable for any mind, how they work, and how to use them.  

Learning a Beethoven sonata by building a memory palace seemed a bit farfetched (if I can figure out exactly how to do that, you’ll be the first to know), but learning who Beethoven was seemed to be the perfect application.  

This came to mind because while preparing for theory exams (a combo of theory and history in our case) I noticed that even well-read students with ample exposure to classical music were struggling with the various eras of classical music, which composer belonged to which and who composed what.  I decided to experiment.  We built a memory palace of my own house in their minds.  By the end of a 15 minute story in which we covered composers from Vivaldi to the Beatles, a group of students of various ages (from 9 to 14 in my experimental class) had a firm grasp of eras, composers and pieces.  It was nothing short of miraculous.  And one of the most exciting discoveries they made is that they’re capable of seemingly impossible feats by simply engaging and applying their imaginations.  


Classical Composers: A Home in Your Head for the Musical Masters is available for Kindle. 



About the author: Desirée Bradford Scarambone is a classically trained pianist with a profound love of teaching.  She is a professional piano teacher with over 15 years of experience teaching students of all levels. 
She earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Houston, Texas, where she studied with Ruth Tomfohrde, Timothy Hester and Horacio Gutiérrez, and pursued graduate studies in Piano Pedagogy with Dr. Melody Hanberry Payne at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi.  In the imminent future Desirée plans to begin the pursuit of a Doctorate of Philosophy in Musicology at the University of Kentucky. 
She is a member of The National Federation of Music Clubs, The American College of Musicians, The National Music Teachers Association and The College Music Society.  Desirée has served as an adjudicator for competitions and festivals, and her students have won prizes and honors for their performances. 
Her previous literary projects include the scripts and music for two children’s musicals commissioned and staged by the Blue Barn Theatre in Port Gibson, Mississippi.
Desirée currently lives in the beautiful Blue Grass area of Kentucky with her husband, professional pianist and professor, Dr. Bernardo Scarambone, where they homeschool their three children and teach full time.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Register for the "Getting Started with Online Lessons" Training Webinar!


The live webinar has passed, but you can view a recording of the entire enhanced webinar on-demand HERE

Do you want to…
  • stop teaching makeup lessons?
  • learn about the setup and implementation of online lessons? 
  • develop a contemporary and cutting-edge studio?
  • enhance your teaching and maximize your teaching efforts? 
  • be the most forward-thinking and trend-setting teacher on the block?
  • increase your client base, teaching hours, and income?
  • offer experiences to your students that they will remember for years to come?
  • gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to start teaching online lessons? 

Did you answer "YES" to these questions? Then you’ve come to the right place! I'm so excited to announce that this brand new training webinar, "Getting Started with Online Lessons", will be presented LIVE to you in the comfort of your own home! 

What will I learn in this webinar?
This webinar will train you in the setup and implementation of online lessons, which will help you develop a contemporary and cutting-edge studio. You will learn about the equipment and tools you need to begin teaching online lessons. You will learn how to use these tools effectively to enhance your teaching, increase your income, and maximize your teaching efforts. If you want to be the most forward-thinking and trend-setting teacher on the block, if you would love to increase your client base, teaching hours, and income, and if you want to offer experiences to students around the world that they will remember for years to come, then online teaching might be just what you’ve been looking for! Join me as I answer your burning questions about online lessons, help you gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to start teaching online lessons, and help you discover ways to expand your studio offerings, set your studio apart, and take your studio to the next level! 

What topics will you cover? 

  • Pros and Cons of Online Lessons
  • Setting Up Your Online Teaching Equipment: The Basics
  • Setting Up Your Online Teaching Equipment: Add-Ons to Enhance the Lesson Experience
  • Considering Your Client Base
  • Policy Information for Online Students
  • Payment Information for Online Students
  • Teaching Tips for Online Lessons
  • Games and Activities for Online Students
  • Bonus Information and Gift for All Attendees
  • Q&A 

How much is the investment? 
The regular price of this webinar is $69. Attendees who register in the first 24 hours can enter coupon code REGISTERNOW14 at checkout to take $10 off the total price, so hurry and submit your registration today! With the coupon code, valid only for 24 hours, the price is $59. 

Seating is limited to the first 25 teachers who register. 

When is the webinar? 
Monday, October 27, 2014, 1:00-2:40 p.m. Eastern Time (I'm in the same timezone as New York City). The live webinar has passed, but you can view a recording of the entire enhanced webinar on-demand HERE

What if I can't attend the live webinar? Will it be recorded?
Absolutely. The live webinar has passed, but you can view a recording of the entire enhanced webinar on-demand HERE

I've never attended a webinar before. Is it easy to sign up? 
Yes, it's really very easy. You'll receive instructions and additional information via email from AnyMeeting after you register. Helpful information for attendees can be found here. There's also a list of helpful connectivity tips here. If your computer has a firewall, you'll have to set it up to allow incoming connections from AnyMeeting Launcher, and I'll be glad to help you do that if you need help. If you still have questions, you are welcome to email me at MelodyPayneWebinar@gmail.com and I'll be happy to help you. 

Do I have to watch the webinar on my computer? 
You can view it on your computer/laptop if you like, but you can also view it on your tablet or smartphone. All you'll need to do is click the link provided in the email you received after you registered and enter the password you chose during registration. You can even call in and listen on your phone if you prefer. 

I'm ready to learn how to teach online lessons! How do I register?
Click the photo below and you'll be taken to the online registration form where you'll register for the webinar and pay via PayPal. Don't forget to enter the coupon code! 

Join me, and let's get started with online lessons!

Click the photo to REGISTER TODAY, fill out the online registration form, and remember to enter coupon code REGISTERNOW14 to save $10 for the first 24 hours only! Be sure to click the statement next to the coupon code box to APPLY the code, then click the PayPal button to complete your registration! 








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